Strathard Community Trust has been approached by Forest Enterprise Scotland (FES – the operations arm of Forestry Commission Scotland that is responsible for managing Scotland’s National Forest Estate) to help with community participation. FES is about to start work on a land management plan for an area referred to as Beinn Bhan, which is in Strathard. Land management plans detail how FES intends to manage specific areas of the National Forest Estate, over a period of ten years.
Over the last couple of years, the Strathard Initiative has been seeking the views of the local community on what they value about their local area, how they use it, what they like and dislike about it, and how it might be improved. The Community Action Plan process has also asked similar questions, receiving a similar range of comments. FES is keen, as much as possible, to take the views of the community into account when producing their land management plans. To do this FES would very much like the community to be involved at an early stage in the production of the next area to be designed within Loch Ard Forest – which is Beinn Bhan (approx. 1000 ha). This area is located in the west side of the forest.
To help achieve community representation in the work that goes in the land management planning process and the decisions that are made during it, we (the Trust) are looking for a handful of volunteers. Ideally, people who have an interest in the natural environment and heritage of Strathard and who will be able to put time and effort into the project. The work will take place during August-end of October 2017, and will involve a series of forest visits as well as discussions to develop the plan. Topics to be discussed will include felling, replanting, habitat creation and enhancement, archaeology, landscape, water quality, access and road / track building.
Would you like to take part in this work and help represent the residents of Strathard in the production of a forest land management plan? Then please email Katinka at Strathard Community Trust – firstname.lastname@example.org
The Trust held an AGM on Thursday 10th August 2017 in Aberfoyle. A huge thank you to the members who attended! It was also a great opportunity to meet some of the many new members who have joined recently – we are delighted to have you on board. The minutes of the AGM will be circulated in due course and we will be posting regular updates here on this website on the many new initiatives that are beginning to take shape. Finally, we would like to welcome new Director, James Kennedy, who joined the Board at the AGM. James, we look forward to working with you!
Following agreement by Strathard Community Council with Stirling Council, the sale of the former Craigmore Centre next to the school generated £20,000 of funds which Strathard Community Trust agreed to receive. The Trust will be administering these funds on behalf of the community primarily to create an outside classroom and related amenities, and working with the Parent Council and the wider community to identify the best way to make use of these monies.
As a local development trust, Strathard Community Trust has a central role to play in the delivery of some of the many priorities identified by our residents during the Community Action Plan process and outlined in the newly launched plan for Strathard (2017-2022). Some of these priorities centre on heritage and the desire to use the area’s diverse natural and cultural heritage to benefit the local community. Following a well attended open meeting organised by The Community Partnership (held in Aberfoyle on March 28th 2017) to discuss the role of heritage in Strathard, a number of participants agreed to form a loose ‘Heritage Network’. This would support groups, businesses and organisations who wish to become more engaged in heritage across Strathard.
Over the next 2-3 years the network aims to work with groups and organisations across the area and the wider National Park, to achieve a vision of Strathard which is engaged in its heritage, proud of its heritage and enriched through its heritage. Through this Heritage Network a small working-group comprising James Kennedy, Katinka Dalglish, Alison Boa and Richard Muir has been formed. With the support of The Community Partnership the aim is to bring this vision to fruition.
Would you like to be involved with the Heritage Network in Strathard?
Please email us at email@example.com
During 2013 investigations were undertaken into the feasibility of developing or entering into partnership to develop a community hydro scheme on Forestry Commission Scotland land. This was a joint project with Strathard Community Council and subject to an extended timescale dependent on third parties. The focus during 2015 was on examining the opportunity to invest in a scheme at Bruach Chaorainn then being developed by Broadland Renewable Construction Ltd. Grant applications were submitted in 2016 to obtain professional assistance to pursue this further. The potential investment was found not to be sufficiently attractive to attract the necessary external funding. This project is ongoing, so watch this space for further updates.
The Trust was a key partner in the delivery of the Community Action Plan for Strathard for the period 2008-2011. During this period the Plan continued to provide direction to many of the Trust’s activities. During 2011 the Trust progressed a further element of this plan by carrying out preliminary work to research and establish potential interest in a local heritage centre. The following year we put effort into making Aberfoyle a ‘disabled-friendly’ village, and in 2013 Stirling Council carried out a detailed survey of disabled access across Aberfoyle. Remaining elements of the Plan were progressed during 2014. This included carrying out further work on the local heritage project, investigating better road safety with a fence at the Playpark (erected 2016), improving access for the disabled, and progressing plans for a Senior Citizens’ lunch club, which took place during 2015-16.
During 2013 members of the Trust became increasingly concerned about the danger to children using the Aberfoyle Play Park, considering the proximity of the main road. At the time, the Play Park had only an insubstantial wooden fence between it and the road. The Trust contacted Stirling Council about the matter and following discussions with SC about road safety, SC committed to providing and erecting a metal fence capable of mitigating the impact on play park users from potential traffic accidents. This work was completed in 2016.
Working with Gartmore House, the ‘Monday Club’ was established in 2015 with the support of Foundation Scotland’s Stirling-wide Fund, and ran successfully from September 2015 to May 2016. The Trust is currently looking into funding opportunities to continue the Monday Club, or a similar offer.
The Aberfoyle Playpark Phase 1 was substantially complete and officially opened in 2008, and during 2010 plans for a Phase 2 Multi Use Games Area (MUGA) were progressed. This continued into 2012 when a consultation with the local community about potential sites was organised. This was held on the afternoon of Saturday 18th February 2012 in Aberfoyle Memorial Hall. Members of the Trust were present and illustrations of the proposed games area were on display. Progressing the project during 2013 finding a suitable site within Aberfoyle proved harder than expected and three options proved unsuitable. After a final review in 2014 following investigations into a fourth potential option, no site in Aberfoyle seems currently feasible for a Phase 2 hard-standing multisports area. Therefore this project has been put on hold, although the possibility will be kept under review in future in the event of a suitable opportunity arising.
This successful sub-group of the Trust worked for a number of years liaising for our area with relevant bodies including LLTTNP, and also monitoring the work being carried out to construct the ‘Old Military Road’ to Stronachlachar and Inversnaid. The ‘Old Military Road’ project successfully concluded in 2013.
Strathard Community Trust has held two screenings of vintage short films, most recently on 22nd January 2011, which included footage of Aberfoyle, Loch Lomond, Loch Katrine, Inversnaid, Port of Menteith, Duke’s Pass, Callander, Loch Ard, Comer, Glen Finglas dam and more.
Both screenings were a great success with more than 150 people turning up to see the films – and most stayed to see the entire two hours of footage. This confirms the huge local interest in the history and heritage of Strathard.
This event, held on Sunday 19th September 2010, was organised by Strathard Community Trust to celebrate Strathard’s heritage. The event included talks, displays, slide shows, a guided mini-bus trip, a guided walk and much more.
“The sun shone for the Aberfoyle Playpark opening on 29th May 2008. With Stirling Provost Fergus Wood and Councillor Paul Owens holding the ribbon, the Playpark was actually opened by the children of Aberfoyle, Gartmore, Port of Menteith and Inversnaid Primary schools. A competition was held amongst the local primary schools to name the Playpark, with Megan Simpson and Stephen McIlvenny selecting ‘Foylers Park’ as the winning name. Foylers Park took some time in the making. The vision for its refurbishment was originally conceived after the first Community Action Plan was published in 2004, with a £250,000 project including a skate park being drawn up by Stirling Council. However, the project was beset by problems, the first of which was that 3 leading members of the Play and Recreation Action Group left the area in 2005 and the project stalled.
The Strathard Community Trust, led by Maureen Campbell took over the project in September 2005 and a slimmed down Playpark began to take shape; without a skate park. Ultimately John Paterson and then Diana Carmody oversaw the completion of Foylers Park. Final works were completed just days before the launch.
The £75,000 playpark was funded by: The Big Lottery’s Awards For All Fund, Scottish Natural Heritage, The Hugh Fraser Foundation, Stirling Council, CERS and the Strathard Community Trust. A huge thank you must go to the team who organised the opening. Jackie Bell, Julie Glen and Lisa Smith arranged for the provision of the marquee, the bouncy castle, the presence of Active Stirling and the face-painting stand. It certainly looked as though everyone present had a great time considering that children were still waiting to have their faces painted after 6:00.”
Since the upgrading of the Aberfoyle Play Park, completed in May 2008, it has been the Trust’s intention to provide a multi use games area (MUGA) for the older children. The Trust arranged a consultation in the proposal on the afternoon of Saturday 18th February 2012 in Aberfoyle Memorial Hall. Members of the Trust were present and illustrations of the proposed games area were on display.